How to Recover Debt from an Individual: A Short Guide

Wondering how to recover debt from an individual? In the landscape of business transactions, encountering situations where debts are owed is not uncommon. Whether you operate as a sole trader, small business or manage a large corporation, navigating the complexities of debt recovery is crucial to safeguarding your financial stability and maintaining operational efficiency.

Recovering debts from individuals can often be a challenging and delicate process. From initial communication to potential legal action, each step requires careful consideration and execution.

Expert Commercial Law has access to an experienced panel of debt recovery solicitors who can assist you with your case. If you would like more information on how we can help you, then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

How to recover debt from an individual

When recovering debt from an individual, it’s essential to approach it with professionalism and within the bounds of the law. Having an experienced solicitor to help you navigate this is highly advised. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact the Debtor: Start by reaching out to the individual who owes you money. This can be done via phone, email, or letter. Be polite but firm, and clearly state the amount owed and the terms of repayment.
  • Send a Letter Before Action: If contacting the debtor directly doesn’t yield results, consider sending a formal demand letter. This letter should outline the details of the debt, including the amount owed, the original agreement, and a deadline for payment.
  • Negotiate a Payment Plan: If the debtor is unable to pay the total amount upfront, you may consider negotiating a payment plan. This can help the debtor fulfil their obligation over time while providing you with at least partial repayment.
  • Consider Mediation: If communication has broken down or negotiations are stalled, you might consider using a mediator. A neutral third party can facilitate communication and reach a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. Mediation can also be helpful if you wish to maintain a good relationship with the debtor moving forward.
  • Legal/Court Action: If all else fails or the debtor has ignored your reminder letters, you may need to take legal action to recover the debt. This could involve filing a claim in small claims court or hiring a debt collection agency.
  • Enforcement Action: If you win a judgment during court proceedings, you may still need to take further steps to enforce it. This could include garnishing wages, placing liens on property, or seizing assets.
  • Document Everything: Throughout the process, be sure to keep detailed records of all communication, agreements, and payments made. This documentation can be crucial if you need to pursue legal action.

What is a statutory demand?

If an individual owes your company money, then the most common form of action is to issue a statutory demand. A statutory demand is a formal legal document often used in debt recovery processes. It is typically issued by a creditor to a debtor to demand payment of a debt owed. Here are some critical points about statutory demands:

  • Formal Demand: A statutory demand is a formal written demand for payment of a debt. It outlines the amount owed, the basis of the debt, and a deadline for payment.
  • Preceding Legal Action: Statutory demands are often used as a precursor to further legal action, such as bankruptcy proceedings or winding-up petitions (in the case of corporate debtors). Issuing a statutory demand can be a way for a creditor to demonstrate to a court that reasonable efforts have been made to recover the debt before seeking more drastic measures.
  • Timeframe for Response: The debtor typically has a limited amount of time to respond to a statutory demand, often 21 days. If they fail to comply with the demand by either paying the debt or reaching a satisfactory agreement with the creditor, the creditor may proceed with legal action.
  • Consequences of Non-Compliance: If the debtor does not comply with the statutory demand, the creditor may have grounds to initiate further legal proceedings, such as bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings, depending on the nature of the debt and the debtor’s circumstances.
  • Challenging a Statutory Demand: Debtors have the right to challenge a statutory demand if they believe it is invalid or if there are legitimate grounds for disputing the debt. For example, if there is a genuine dispute over the amount owed or if the demand does not comply with legal requirements.

How can Expert Commercial Law assist?

Whether an individual or business owes you money, our team take the stress out of finding you a solicitor to assist with your debt recovery matter. We have assisted many UK businesses and individuals in finding the right litigation team for their cases and court claims.

We only connect you with the best solicitors.

All of our solicitor firms are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and offer a range of funding options for your case. All solicitors are registered in England and Wales.

We are not a firm of solicitors; however, we have a panel of commercial law solicitors who are authorised and regulated by the SRA. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case on to a panel law firm.

If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case on to a panel firm. Panel firms pay fees which contribute to the running of our website and marketing. We will never charge you for passing on your case.

If you would like more information on how to recover debt from an individual, then please contact us to speak to a member of our team using the form below or call us today.


Schedule Your Free Consultation

Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 


Contact us today
close slider